BJP MP, Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and the accused of sexual misconduct, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has reaped a strong support from the sadhus of Ayodhya, who claimed that Singh hasn't sexually harassed anyone. In the team up with Singh, the sadhus have brought a dubious demand to amend POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) law, under which a case was filed against Singh. They also announced they will protest against the POCSO Act.
Though the right-wing and Hindutva activists came in support of Singh by buidling a narrative against the women wrestlers, who won international medals for India, the vow of support from the sadhus of Ayodhya is the first such overt backing of the accused BJP MP and the seers have also planned to conduct a rally, completely in support of Singh even as the ruling BJP regime flanked a crackdown against the protesting wrestlers.
The agenda behind supporting Singh is an objective of amending the POCSO, not in a way to strengthen the hands of law as demanded by the child rights activists and lawyers, but in a fashion that would favor the accused and make the victims vulnerable. The sadhus claim that the POCSO Act has many loopholes and defective clauses. To build a momentum in support of Brij Bhushan Saran Singh, a rallly has been organized in his support on June 5 and the posters about the rally have urged the people to support Singh, who is a six time BJP MP and party's bigshot in Uttar Pradesh.
The supporters of Singh call him 'Netaji' and he has close connections with Ayodhya. Wrestling champions Sakshi Malik, Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and others have been protesting in Delhi for over a month against Brij Bushan Saran Singh, accusing him of sexually harassing women wrestlers. The wrestlers unanimously demand the arrest of Singh, while the ruling BJP regime have been oblivious. Two FIRs have been filed against Singh, but he neither was detained nor arrested in connection to the charges.
One of the two FIRs is connected to the sexual harassment of a minor and while a POCSO case warrants an immediate detention, no such action was taken against Singh while the wrestlers were detained by the police when they protested in front of the newly inaugurated Parliament. As a strongman of Ayodhya, Singh has an immense support from the seers and the support seems to be ingrained that it remains intact even Singh has several criminal cases against him, with his open admission of killing a person.
The June 5 rally has been named as 'Jan Chetna Maha Rally' and the buses in Ayodhya carry posters about the rally, with Singh claiming that about one million people will participate. As a sign of Hindutva's strong backing to Singh, the seers vow to support Singh and that he hasn't harassed anyone. Mahant Satyendra Das, one of the seers, said, "We the seers of Ayodhya and those from other religious places of the country will hold the rally in favour of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh."
Mahant Gauri Shankar Das said, "Wrestlers protest is being politicised. As far as we know, he (Brij Bhushan Singh) hasn't sexually harassed anyone." In the rally, the sadhus will also oppose POCSO Act by stating that the act has many loopholes and defective clauses. Satyendra Das further said, "We will also oppose the POCSO Act as it has got many loopholes and defective clauses."
According to The Print, Mahant Balram Das of the Sagariya Patti of the Hanumangarhi Temple, said, "We want that the POCSO Act should not be misused and after making such serious allegations, the accused should also have right to speak. In such a case the respect of the person is lost first. If the person is not found guilty then how will his honor be returned." Though BJP members support Singh and the rally, the saffron party has distanced itself from the rally. BJP leader Sanjay Shukla said, "This rally has been called by the Saints, not BJP. Party workers will not participate."